Stoners around the world should roll one up in celebration today.
California state lawmakers have just passed the “first formal consideration of marijuana legalization in American history.” Assemblymember Tom Ammanio’s Assembly Bill 390 – the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act – was heard and voted on in the Committee for Public Safety. The bill passed 4-3, and will next be heard by the Committee for Public Health.
But the vote was only a minor victory for the pro-legalization lobby. (AB 390 may very well die in the health committee.) The real test will come in November, when voters will consider the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, which, in a nutshell, will legalize pot for personal and agricultural use. (Recent polls show about 56 percent support the bill.)
It’s hard to argue that progress isn’t being made for the movement. As the old “Reefer Madness” stereotypes die away, several states are seriously considering marijuana legalization. Check out the headlines from the last few days: “Stiletto Stoners,” “It’s High Time for Debate,” and “Pot Town, USA.”
Clearly, marijuana prohibition has been a failure. Every U.S. citizen can get his or her hands on a baggie of marijuana if they want to, usually within 24 hours. The plant itself can be grown outside or inside by novices – because, frankly, it grows like a weed. A casual smoker is no different than a fan of Budweiser or Coors.
The pro-pot movement looks to California as the first battleground state, where medical marijuana is already generating millions of dollars a year in taxes. As Assemblymember Ammanio’s bill works its way through the red tape, more news is sure to come out about marijuana legalization. Stay informed!